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Panasonic ERV With Zehnder ComfoTube

albertoarriaga33 | Posted in Mechanicals on

Hey all!

I have an HVAC question. My company is building a spec house and want to include an ERV system because were shooting for 1.5 ACH50 at most. As for the ERV itself I we’ll most likely buy a basic panasonic box. For the distribution however, id like to forego the traditional ducting methods and install the zehnder comfotube package. Its very convenient to install and seems like a very nice sweet spot between rigid metal ductwork (expensive) and flexduct (prone to kinks).

First of all, is it possible to use the zehnder distribution system with a 3rd party ERV? If not, is there a distribution system that is similar that can be. Also if anyone has had experience with the zehnder system please do tell how it has performed over time. Thanks a bunch!

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  1. CramerSilkworth | | #1

    Yes, I do this from time to time (Zehnder ducts w/ other ERV). Works great for distribution. The Zehnder ERVs do work very well and are worth every penny IMHO, but budgets are often tight. The Panasonic IntelliBalance unit is a good fallback, as long as its 100 cfm (but plan for 80ish tops, though - it gets noisy) is enough for your needs.

    1. albertoarriaga33 | | #4

      Awesome, good to know other people are doing this. We wont be using a zehnder box because parts and repairs are unavailable in my area.

      Im a bit curious as to how you spec your distribution. Are you using the entire zehnder package (diffusers, manifolds, etc) or just the tubes?

    2. acolborn | | #9


      We're hoping to use an IntelliBalance with a Zehnder manifold for distribution. Less because of budget (though that's always an issue) and more because there is not a lot of space in where we want to place the ERV.

      Is there anything special we'd need to buy or do to actually physically connect the manifold and the ERV?

  2. Expert Member
    Akos | | #2

    ERV flow rates for a typical room are so low that you won't have problems with flex duct. You can do a simple home run with mostly 3" flex for your supplies. With bit of persuasion, these can even fit into 2x4 walls.

    The stale air pickups need to be larger (5" flex to a kitchen, 4" to a bath), sized right, there is no problems with flex.

    I've also had good luck with semi rigid aluminum. Local supply house stocks this in long lengths, very easy to work with for complucated runs. The semi rigid performance is pretty close to hard pipe.

    1. albertoarriaga33 | | #3

      Thanks for the reply,

      I know flexduct wont be an issue and this is our fallback, however the convenience of the zehnder system seems hard to beat. We will look into the semi rigid aluminum as an alternative to flexduct.

  3. hydronicnerd | | #5

    How timely.... am in the process of putting together a parts list for a 200CFM who house HRV. Who sells the zehnder distribution system?

    1. albertoarriaga33 | | #6

      AFAIK you can buy directly from them, they design the system and ship it to you. But if youre trying to do a hybrid like me id imagine you can get the system from a distributor. Right now im checking out the parts in mainstreamcorporationdotcom. If anyone knows a good online distributor please let me know!

    2. qofmiwok | | #8

      I bought mine from Small Planet Supply.

  4. CramerSilkworth | | #7

    Yes they'll sell just the ductwork.

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